Nadine Kuperty-Tsur

Nadine Kuperty-Tsur
pas labex
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

22/02/2016 - 13/07/2016



Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Université de Tel Aviv (Israël)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Political Thought in Early Modern France of the 16th and 17th centuries

The Renaissance saw an increasing number of authors using a variety of literary genres to express new political visions. What set these authors apart was that they were associated with positions of power, as chancellors, parliamentarians and above all secretaries of state ministers. Their writings became evidence of an emerging political thought. At the crossroads of praxis and theory, the authors, as political “insiders,” criticized the political system, while suggesting improvements or even reforms based on an ethics newly acquired from Humanism. In France, the arrival of the Valois dynasty with François I, the fragility of power under each of Catherine de Medici's sons, and thirty years of religious wars had led to the need for arbitration. The new generation of state administrators had been trained in the best law schools of Europe. They were supporters of the humanist movement and held the belief that the state’s interests could no longer be determined by the personal ambitions of a handful of families or even a dynasty whose policies were the subject of severe criticism. The reserach study proposes to systematically analyze French Renaissance political writing, focusing on discourses, pamphlets, treatises and memoirs as the dominant forms of writing expressing political ideas. It should provide a comprehensive understanding of both the nature and contents of the political thought in the Renaissance, showing that it relied upon people’s growing ability to conceive of the world through abstract notions and that the new political thought deriving from this ability can express itself in various genres using different modes – ranging from serious political treatises to satirical pamphlets.


Nadine Kuperty-Tsur main research deals with the emergence of Memoirs in Early Modern France. Rather than focus on the historicity of this genre's content, she is interested in identifying the categories used by the memorialists in order to situate themselves within the national narrative. The rediscovery of major works from Antiquity, colored by medieval Christian traditions, shaped new ways of expression, eventually crystalizing in the notion of the modern Renaissance individual, whose involvement in the life and times of his or her country ensured them a new measure of valorization. She has paid special attention to Protestant authors, as well as to women memorialists. In the latter context she has edited Madame de Mornay’s Memoirs, Paris, Champion, 2010. She is also interested in the rhetoric and the argumentative dimension of the memorialist’s discourse. The dissident dimension of most of the Memoirs written during the religious wars in France is one of the most thought provoking aspects of this kind of writing. She considers authoring Early Modern Memoirs an act of freedom with a subversive intent aim of articulating a specific version of the memorialist’s personal contribution to the nation despite his or her being at odds with those in power. One finds traces of this struggle in the Memoirs of this period and even a genuine line of dissident thought and discourse in the making.